Panathinaikos Owner Fulfills Dream By Signing Jimmer Fredette

Jul 9, 2019, 10:14 PM | Updated: Jul 10, 2019, 2:54 pm
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 03:  Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the...
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 03: Jimmer Fredette #32 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Talking Stick Resort Arena on April 03, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Jimmer Fredette’s early departure from the Golden State Warriors Summer League team last week was for good reason.  The former BYU star and Wooden Award winner had multiple offers to play overseas.

On Tuesday, Fredette agreed to terms with one those lucrative offers from Panathinaikos, a EuroLeague powerhouse in Greece.

Panathinaikos has been a franchise that has been pursuing Jimmer for a long time.

George Zakkas, a basketball insider in Greece for hopped on the Cougar Tracks podcast to discuss Jimmer’s signing with Panathinaikos.

“Panathinaikos and Jimmer Fredette have agreed to terms in principle to a two-year deal,” said Zakkas.  “That means that the 30-year-old sharp-shooter will come in the EuroLeague for the first time in his career.  That also means Panathinaikos will fulfill a dream of their owner, Mr. Dimitrios Giannakopoulos, who was targeting Fredette since 2014.  It has been a five-year run after Fredette.”

Dimitrios took over as Panathinaikos’ owner in 2012 after his father Pavlos.

For nearly that entire stretch of time that Dimitrios has been “The Greens” owner, he’s been after Jimmer.  This move by Dimitrios probably makes his late father proud.  Pavlos Giannakopoulos once landed NBA legend Dominique Wilkins to sign with Panathinaikos to a $7 million contract in the mid-1990s.

During that time Dimitrios was courting Jimmer, Fredette played for the New Orleans Pelicans, Westchester Knicks, New York Knicks, Shanghai Sharks, and the Phoenix Suns.

Jimmer’s two-year contract with Panathinaikos will be worth $3.5 million net, before taxes.  It’s the second-biggest contract on Panathinaikos’ roster at the moment.  The only player who will be making more is Greece native and former Florida Gator Nick Calathes.

Along with a lucrative offer from Panathinaikos, Jimmer had an offer to return to China for even more money.  Zakkas weighed in on why he thought Jimmer ultimately chose Panathinaikos.

“I think what Panathinaikos has to offer is a more stable environment comparing to some Chinese teams.  A crazy court with 20,000 people cheering for you, a EuroLeague competition which is better than the Chinese CBA, it’s a tougher, and it’s a better league for sure and it’s a big powerhouse,” said Zakkas.

“But let’s be honest, life in Athens is really, really good.  I think that Athens is a big city that can provide you anything and can fulfill not only Jimmer as a person but his family too.  With good schools, good restaurants, everything.  Panathinaikos is a very attractive situation for a lot of players around Europe and around the USA.  Shows that when a Hall of Famer like Rick Pitino decided to live here and coach here for six months,” Zakkas said.

The family aspect likely played a huge role in Jimmer’s decision as he has a wife and two young kids with his spouse.

No matter what it’s great to know that Panathinaikos’ owner like so many Cougar fans has had a case of Jimmermania that he just couldn’t get rid of.  EuroLeague play begins this October.

To listen to the full interview with Greece Basketball Insider George Zakkas, listen to the Cougar Tracks Podcast below.

You can subscribe to the Cougar Tracks Podcast on iTunesGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher, and any other major podcasting platform.  After you subscribe to the podcast, feel free to leave a rating and a review of the show.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings


KSL Sports

60 in 60: #42 BYU’s Masen Wake (Fullback/Tight End)

Throughout the summer Hans & Scotty are counting down the top 60 college football players in the state of Utah.
14 hours ago
Howard Fendrich, AP

Hampered Nadal Gets Past Fritz At Wimbledon; Kyrgios Next

Rafael Nadal got past Taylor Fritz in during the Wimbledon quarterfinals and will face Nick Kyrgios, a 27-year-old, in the semifinals.
14 hours ago
Tom Withers, AP

AP Source: Browns Trade QB Baker Mayfield To Panthers

Baker Mayfield's run with Cleveland officially ended when the Browns traded the former No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers.
14 hours ago
Brittney Griner, WNBA, Russia, Phoenix Mercury...
Darlene Superville, AP

Biden Tells Griner’s Wife He’s Working To Get Her Home

President Joe Biden spoke with the wife of detained WNBA player Brittney Griner to reassure her that he is working to win Griner's freedom.
14 hours ago
Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Officially Trade Gobert To Timberwolves

The Utah Jazz have officially traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for five players and four future draft picks.
14 hours ago
ESPN Layoffs...
Michelle Bodkin

How A Pac-12, ACC Merger Could Shift TV Network Power Yet Again

On Tuesday, the talks about what felt like the inevitable possibility that the Pac-12 was soon to be dissolved into some combination of the Big Ten and/or SEC, and Big XII switched to what is sounding like a very strong possibility that the Pac-12 and ACC unite their efforts in some kind of merger deal.
14 hours ago
Panathinaikos Owner Fulfills Dream By Signing Jimmer Fredette